July 18, 2014
Claimed RHP Raul Fernandez off waivers from the Rockies; assigned him to Advanced-A Winston-Salem. [7/16]
Fernandez, a 24-year-old converted catcher, is a lottery ticket. Control of his mid-90s fastball has eluded him this season, during his first exposure to Advanced-A, and he was designated for assignment after walking seven batters over his last 10 innings. The likelihood of Fernandez realizing his upside—set-up man or thereabout—is limited, but you don't mind what Rick Hahn is doing here. The White Sox can take it slow with Fernandez and see if they can help him mature into a big-league arm. If he doesn't, the cost was low enough to justify the risk.
Sanchez entered the season ranked as the system's seventh-best prospect. He was recalled on Sunday in order to cover for the injured Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez. Because the injuries are minor in nature, and because of the All-Star break, expect Sanchez to return to the minors on Friday.
A sensible deal by Dayton Moore. Frasor, all 5-foot-9 of him, remains an effective two-way reliever despite some additional wildness. He uses a low-to-mid-90s fastball most of the time, though he has a pair of mid-80s secondary offerings in his slider and splitter. You would think a pitcher of his height would have issues with the long ball, due to his inability to maintain plane, but Frasor has done well to avoid home runs over the past season and a half, and a move to Kaufman Stadium should help. A free agent at season's end, Frasor figures to slot into the sixth- or seventh-inning role and be just fine.
Patton is a 26-year-old whose first stint in Triple-A has included more than four walks and nearly two home runs per nine innings. He could find his way to the majors before the season is over as a middle reliever, but this isn't a deal the Royals should come to regret.
Released C-R John Buck. [7/15]
A formality after Buck was designated for assignment (a day after his birthday, no less) to make room for Jesus Sucre. How Buck lasted this long is unclear, as he didn't hit, catch, or throw well enough to disregard the other flaws in his game. The only plausible explanation is the Mariners wanted a veteran around to mentor Mike Zunino and, once the postseason became realistic, they decided to upgrade their roster by any means necessary. Fair enough. Sucre is, by the way, an upgrade over Buck behind the plate and a downgrade at it.
Claimed LHP Brad Mills off waivers from the Athletics. [7/17]
Now that Alex Anthopoulos has made a waiver claim, the second half can officially begin. Mills joins the Blue Jays for the second time (the first came in the all but forgotten Jeff Mathis trade of 2011), this time he figures to work from the bullpen. His game revolves around high fastballs and curveballs, which are used to keep batters from sitting on the heat (a relative term, in this case). Mills isn't going to change Toronto's fortune much one way or another, but he ought to give John Gibbons some length out of the bullpen, should he need it.
Swapping Bolsinger for Cahill makes sense, but might not result in better production. Cahill, who hasn't pitched in the majors since early June, is owed more than $15 million through next season. If the D'backs hope to find a taker without having to eat the entire amount, then they'll need him to show he can perform in the majors sometime between now and the offseason. The problem is Cahill doesn't seem likely to do so. Although he recently went consecutive outings without allowing a run, he threw just 55 percent strikes during his stay in Triple-A, according to Baseball-Reference's game logs. For perspective: Cahill walked more than five batters per nine during his big-league appearances while throwing 58 percent strikes. Maybe pitching in front of big-league umpires and to big-league catchers will help. But unless Cahill throws more strikes, the odds are he won't impress.